Full Sail graduate Maria Diaz works in a niche within film and television that serves several distinct populations: Spanish speakers with language barriers and Spanish and English speakers with auditory or visual disabilities.
Maria is the President of Dicapta, a company that specializes in Spanish language and real-time dubbing, closed captioning, subtitling, video description, and audio books. The company has nine full-time employees (including Full Sail Recording Arts graduate Gerardo Caligiuri, the company’s Director of Media and Special Projects), and, in 2013, was named Seminole County’s 2013 Small Business of the Year and Minority Business of the Year by the county’s Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Originally from Colombia, Maria has a 20-year background in television broadcasting. In addition to her master’s degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail, she earned degrees in business administration and electrical engineering in Colombia. Ten years ago, Maria – who has a hearing impairment – started her own business doing services for people with disabilities, and she now has a grant with the Department of Education to provide media access services for Spanish speakers with disabilities.
“We have very good contacts in the educational arena, in the disabilities arena, and with Hispanic channels,” says Maria of Dicapta. “We’re doing captioning for Telemundo, Univision, and the Department of Education.”
Dicapta does closed captioning for educational Hispanic channels like HITN (Hispanic Information and Telecommunication Network), V-me TV, and Semillitas. Dicapta also provides video description services – “putting visual elements in a narration” – to help blind people enjoy television and film, as well as real-time dubbing. With real-time dubbing – which Dicapta has provided for PBS, Univision, and Telemundo during political debates – the company uses a translator to relay the words in Spanish to an actor, who then repeats them in an emotionally appropriate interpretation.
Maria says her services all boil down to giving people more media options and access to information.
“Everybody needs access – because of language barriers, because of sensory disabilities,” says Maria. “This is what we do here. We try to do our best to provide access.”